Current issues and what the World Food Programme is doing
What are the current issues in Mozambique
Despite having made some impressive strides forward, Mozambique faces serious challenges. Much of its rural population is impoverished and food-insecure. The country is prone to a wide range of natural hazards which regularly cause major damage and disrupt economic growth.
Mozambique is one of the most impoverished countries in the world, having emerged from a long and destructive civil war that lasted 16 years and ended in 1992. Two decades of peace and stability following the war have allowed the country to recover significantly in both social and economic spheres. In 2013 real GDP posted robust seven percentgrowth, although lower than expected due to severe floods early in the year. According to the African Development Bank, the progressive increase in coal production and the implementation of large infrastructure projects, coupled with budgetary expansion, are expected to continue to drive growth, projected at 8.5 percentin 2014 and 8.2 percentin 2015.
The significant economic growth, however, has not yet translated into structural changes necessary to sustain the country’s capacity to reduce poverty and foster human development. According to theUNDP 2014 Human Development Index, the country ranks at 178 out of 187 countries. It has some 24.5 million inhabitants and an average life expectancy of only 50 years. One third of the population is chronically food-insecure, and half a million children aged 6-23 months are undernourished. Malnutrition in children under five remains alarmingly high at 43 percent. Underlying causes include inadequate nutritional intake due to poor diet diversity, low meal frequency, poor breastfeeding practices, high levels of disease and teenage pregnancy. Vitamin A and iron deficiencies in children under five are high, at 69 and 74 percent respectively.
These problems are further aggravated by the high incidence of HIV infection (11.1 percent - UNAIDS Assessment, 2012). This affects the most productive segment of the population, reducing household savings and the number of skilled workers. Small-scale cultivation is the basis of the nation’s agricultural production and an important source of income for most rural women. Recurrent climatic shocks such as drought, floods and cyclones, however, compromise income from farming and contribute to food insecurity, while also causing loss of life, ruined livelihoods and damaged infrastructure.
Among African countries, Mozambique is the third most affected by weather-related hazards. While the southern and central regions are drought-prone, floods occur every two to three years along the major river basins and in the poorly-drained urban settlements. In 2014, mild floods were registered during the period February to March causing damage in infrastructure and agricultural land in the Incomati river basin and the central and Northern provinces
The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), which has been extended up to 2016, is fully aligned with national priorities outlined in the government's five year plan, the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2011-2014) and national sector policies. Mozambique is a United Nations 'Delivering as One' country.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Mozambique
Mozambique is a “Delivering as One” country in which all UN agencies, based on their comparative advantages, contribute towards a UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The UNDAF, its Action Plan and consequently WFP’s Country Programme and Protracted Recovery and Relief Operation are fully aligned with the national priorities as outlined in the Government of Mozambique’s five year plan, PARP 2011-2014 and national sector policies.
The WFP Country Strategy for Mozambique prioritizes human and social development, market access and disaster risk management. It pursues WFP’s transition from food aid to food assistance, supporting and enhancing Government programmes to constitute sustainable, national solutions to food insecurity through the three dimensions of prevention, protection and promotion.
The programme includes the use of innovative delivery methods such as cash, vouchers and mobile phone transfers in districts where the necessary infrastructure is present and food is available in the local markets, thus contributing to the local economy. Overall the CP plans to assist a total of 1,447,000 people in 23 districts in the centre and south of the country. The five components of the Country Programme are:
School Meals: Supporting the Ministry of Education through a four-year transition period towards a nationally owned, funded and managed home-grown school meals programme, integrated into the social protection framework.
Social Protection: Supporting food-insecure families with labour capacity with food or cash transfers during seasonal gaps in return for participation in labour-intensive activities aimed at supporting community livelihoods. Vulnerable people unable to engage in productive work will receive unconditional food/cash transfers, complementing other essential services delivered by civil society associations.
Nutrition: Supporting the Ministry of Health in the development of sustainable systems for integrating nutrition services into the national health system over the longer term, the implementation of activities under the National Nutritional Rehabilitation Prorgramme and support for the coordination and implementation of the Multi-sectoral Action Plan to Reduce Chronic Malnutrition.
Risk Reduction: Strengthening the capacity of the National Directorate of Disaster Management (INGC) and the Technical Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SETSAN) in risk analysis and mapping, early warning and food and nutrition security analysis.
Market Access: Facilitating access to markets and the development of smallholder producer and processor capacity by increasing marketing infrastructure, market information and improving commodity quality.
WFP’s Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) 2012-2015
WFP’s Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) provides food assistance in support of response and early recovery activities, targeting disaster-affected as well as displaced persons who have sought refuge in Mozambique due to adverse conditions in the Horn of Africa.
The PRRO underpins the National Action Plan for Poverty Reduction 2011-2014 (PRSP) and the National Master Plan for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Calamities which identify national and local actions for vulnerability reduction and emergency response and the annual contingency plans which are prepared to respond to forecasted climate scenarios. The key activities are:
Relief Activities: In the immediate aftermath of a sudden onset emergency, food assistance provides life-saving support. In slow-onset emergencies (e.g. droughts), it also serves as an income transfer mechanism that helps to prevent the forced sale of assets and promotes the investment of limited household income in durable economic and social activities, thus enabling households to recover from transitory food insecurity more rapidly.
Early Recovery Activities: Post-relief assistance is continued mostly through food-for-work by means of low-tech, labour-intensive activities oriented towards rehabilitation of productive assets.
Capacity Development: Strengthening national capacity in contingency and operational planning and emergency response management.
Featured Mozambique publications
A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.
Looking for more publications on Mozambique? Visit the Mozambique publications archive.